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Fourth-Ranked NC State Baseball Defeats Wake Forest to Complete Sweep

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RALEIGH, N.C. – The fourth-ranked NC State baseball team completed the series sweep against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons with a 10-6 win Sunday afternoon on Senior Day at Doak Field at Dail Park. The Wolfpack has won eight consecutive games to record its fourth weekend sweep of the season and second in ACC play.

NC State gained control of the game with six unanswered runs after trailing 5-4 heading to the bottom of the sixth. The Pack scored three in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull ahead and secure the win.

The Wolfpack moves to 39-12 on the year and 18-9 in ACC play, while Wake Forest falls to 22-29 and 11-16 in conference action. Redshirt freshman Connor Centala earned his first collegiate win in the contest with an inning of shutout relief, while Wake’s Tyler Witt was hit with the loss.

Kent Klyman threw the final three innings for the Pack and registered his fourth save.

Avent’s Additions
Overall thoughts…
“I’m just really proud of our guys,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “They’ve gone through a lot; this season has been tough. It’s a tough transition from two intense night games with great crowds to a day game. Today felt like New Mexico to me, I do not know what it felt like to them.

“We just got behind again and I’m really proud of their effort. We were thin in pitching and I thought Centala [Connor] came in and pitched a really good inning for us. I just think we’re playing very well right now.”

On completing the sweep on Senior Day…
“Senior Day is special and everybody talks about that. It is about Senior Day, but it’s also about winning and getting better. If it hadn’t had been Senior Day, it would have been just as big but I’m sure looking back on it they will remember this win on Senior Day.”

Quick Hits
– NC State struck early in the contest, as a double from Brett Kinneman in the bottom of the first pushed across the first runs of the game as the Wolfpack took a 2-0 lead.
– Wake Forest countered with a pair of runs in the top of the second to knot the score at two apiece after an RBI groundout and an RBI single.
– Evan Edwards led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk and scored on a double to left center by Stephen Pitarra, as the Wolfpack answered quickly to regain the lead 3-2.
– The Demon Deacons pulled ahead, 5-3, with three runs in the third following a wild pitch and a two-run homer from Cole McNamee.
– Will Wilson started the bottom of the frame with a double to right center and scored on an RBI groundout from Kinneman to narrow the margin to 5-4.
– After both teams were held scoreless in the fourth and fifth, Josh McLain hit a two-RBI triple to left center to give NC State a 6-5 lead after Devonte Brown and J.T. Jarrett walked and singled earlier in the frame.
– Wilson followed with a single through the left side to score McLain, as the Wolfpack scored all three runs in the frame with two outs.
– Edwards scored the eighth run of the game for NC State on a safety squeeze from Jarrett, as he was called out initially but was ruled safe after review.
– McLain’s sacrifice fly extended the Pack’s advantage to 9-5 with Brown scoring from third.
– Patrick Bailey walked and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches to push across the 10thrun of the day for NC State.
– Wake Forest got a run back in the ninth on a solo homer from Michael Ludowig, but Klyman rebounded to retire the next three batters to get the save.

Inside the Box Score
– Wilson led the Wolfpack at the plate and was the only player in the game to record three hits to go along with an RBI and a run scored.
– Pitarra also turned in a multi-hit performance, as he doubled twice in the contest and scored a run, while driving in another.
– NC State scored 10 or more runs for the 12thtime this season.
– The Wolfpack is also 29-3 on the year when scoring at least six runs.

On the Mound
– Freshman Evan Justice made his first ACC start of his collegiate career and went 1.2 innings.
– Michael Bienlien turned in a strong relief appearance with three innings pitched, yielding one earned run with three strikeouts.
– Centala inherited a runner on first in the sixth and forced a double play and then a groundout to end the inning.
– Klyman closed out the game, pitching the final three innings and he fanned four batters.
– The Wolfpack pitching staff struck out seven batters and walked just one.

On Deck
NC State returns to action in its final regular-season series, as the Wolfpack travels to Tallahassee for a matchup with Florida State. First pitch of Thursday and Friday’s games is at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s series finale is set for 1 p.m.

NC State Baseball

Trea Turner’s power / speed combo puts him in MLB history books

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Former NC State (and current Washington Nationals) SS, Trea Turner, is having what has become a historic season.

So why hasn’t there been more hype around the 25-year-old?

Well, last year in an injury-shortened season (412 ABs), Turner was on an even torrid pace. He batted .284, hit 11 HRs and stole 46 bases. That was coming off a 2016 season where, in just 324 ABs he hit an insane .342 with 33 HRs and 33 steals.

Those type of numbers have made some see his 2018 numbers as a sort of letdown.

After last night’s big game (2-5, HR, 3 RBIs) Turner is hitting .268 with 15 HRs in 504 ABs. He’s also stolen 32 bases. While he’s shown a better pace in the past, the current pace is actually good enough to land him in the MLB record books.

Trea Turner is already showing historic power/speed combo numbers, but his past numbers show, this might just be the beginning of what is possible for the young SS.

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Detroit Tigers promote Brock Deatherage to A-Advanced & he keeps raking

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We told you just a few days ago that former NC State OF Brock Deatherage was lighting up the minor leagues.

Well, we weren’t the only ones who thought so.

Yesterday, Deatherage was promoted by the Detroit Tigers from Class A to Class A-Advanced.

 

It seems as if the Tigers are fast-tracking Brock at this point. If he hits well for Lakeland, he could start next season in AA, and if that happens, he could see the majors by the end of next season. But again, it all comes down to him continuing to hit like this.

The good news is, in his first at-bat with the new club, Deatherage hit a laser-beam of a triple into the right-center gap.

We’ll keep you updated on how he fares in the coming weeks.

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Former Pack star Brock Deatherage off to fast start to pro career

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Brock Deatherage might have the coolest name in the pro baseball ranks, but he’s not resting on his laurels.

Instead, the former Wolfpack OF is eating pitchers alive in his first season of pro ball.

Deatherage started in rookie ball where he logged just 9 ABs. That’s because in those 9 ABs he had 5 hits and 4 of those were HRs.

So the Detroit Tigers front office quickly moved him up to A-ball where he’s continued to rake.

In 42 games, he’s tallied 162 ABs. He 51 hits (good for a .327 average), 2 HRs, and 12 walks. He’s also swiped 15 bases. Check out his first HR here

It’s likely that if Deatherage continues this pace that he’ll start next season in AA. And if that goes well, and MLB ETA could be September of next season.

We’ll keep following Brock as he hits his way through the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

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Former Wolfpacker Andrew Knizner making case for call-up by Cardinals

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Andrew Knizner was a consistent producer at NC State. For his career, he hit over .300 and showed a patient approach at the plate. Couple that with the fact that he was versatile in the field and you can see why the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the 2016 MLB draft.

Fast forward a few couple years and not much has changed for Knizner. He’s still hitting over .300, his approach is still solid and he’s showing he can play multiple positions in the field. The only difference is that he’s now doing that in the high level of the Cardinal farm system.

As you recall, Knizner was promoted to AAA in late May. He then followed with an invitation to the MLB Futures Game during All-Star weekend. Now, the question is, when will he get the call to the big show?

A target date to watch for is September 1st. This is when MLB rosters will expand from the normal 25-man roster to the full 40-man roster.

Now usually, if a guy is not on the 40-man roster, then it’s unlikely you’d see him get the call in September (and Knizner is not on the Cardinal’s 40-man.) However, the Cardinals are only 6.5 games out of first place in their division and just 4 games out of the Wild Card. This means they will likely be in the middle of a playoff push in September. That also means that they’ll need to make sure they have enough depth for that run.

Most teams carry at least 3 catchers when rosters expand, but looking at St. Louis’ 40-man, they would only be carrying their starter Yadier Molina, and backup Francisco Pena.

What we’re getting at is that if the Cardinals can keep pace in their playoff race, then when rosters expand, there is an increasingly good chance that they designate someone for assignment and add Andrew Knizner to the roster, both because his numbers dictate it and because they need an emergency backstop.

The kid has hit over .300 in AA and now after a few weeks in AAA, he’s hitting .314. He’s also being touted as a quality defensive catcher and is even starting to show a little more pop. The Cardinals are looking for a protege to bring up while their future Hall of Fame catcher, Yadier Molina is still around to tutor him. All of this may go into motion a lot sooner than thought, but it’s deserved and very much earned by the former Wolfpacker.

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